Going back to the original post, and in particular the Occultist class, an inspiration seems to be the character Carnacki the Ghost Finder, an "occult investigator" who starred in a series of short stories by William Hope Hodgson (published around the 1910's I think). Carnacki often used an "electric pentacle" and other implements, as well as magic circles and such during investigations.
Hodgson is largely know today as being an influence of Lovecraft, and his stories hopefully indicate the kind of pulpy old-school "occult" Paizo is going for with this whole book. Most of his work is public domain by now I think. I'm pretty sure you can find it on Project Gutenberg, among other places with an internet search.
OK, whipped up a Mesmirist quickly yesterday afternoon for my weekly store game. Here are a few impressions from actual play.
Was a little confused on the trick setup. Does "He can have only one trick active at a given time," mean (1) he can only set up 1 subject at a time (in which case he has to wait for the trick to activate, burn an immediate action, and then spend a standard to implant another subject in the hopes he'll get a chance to activate another of his daily trick uses), (2) he can implant multiple subjects at the same time but they must all have the same trick implanted, and/or (2.5) he can implant multiple subjects at the same time but no subject may have more than 1 trick implanted at a given time?
In my confusion I essentially used the first and second options (as option 2.5 didn't have the chance to come up at level 1). Option 1 made for a frustrating and less fun fight since it meant I burned most of my actions setting up tricks with only guesses at what might actually get the chance to be activated [i.e. with psychosomatic surge touch the person you think most likely to be attacked/most in need of healing, wait around attempting to daze targets until you get the chance to activate in a turn, then spend another turn setting up again to repeat.] Option 2 made for a more fun encounter both game-wise and flare-wise without making the character too much higher-powered since it potentially gave my character a way to contribute every turn without worrying about wasting every other turn in a frustrating guessing game setup. Plus I got to stop the party before entering a house and wave my hands in their face while I stared into their eyes and told them they'd thank me later ("and I promise not to make you cluck like a chicken"), so that was fun. The 5 standard actions I spent to setup (I implanted everybody) meant I had 5 turns of combat to use my trick before all my daily uses were gone, but it also meant I was able to feel useful in a fight, which seemed fair without being overpowering. 1 immediate use per turn seemed a fair enough tax to prevent me from spamming the power, while Option 1 above seemed too harsh and made me feel nearly useless in combat since I couldn't even contribute weak -1 str stabs while running around slapping people to little effect [I was able implant and activate 1 trick, while my second trick was implanted and wasted since the second target was never attacked before the combat ended].
I had a lot of fun with the flavor of the class but found myself floundering a bit with feeling like I didn't have much to contribute in combat. Some of this may be my general inexperience playing caster-types (I usually play stabby types), but at at least some of it was a problem with action-utility if you can only have 1 trick implanted on a single character at a single time. The duration of trick implantation might be worth tweaking, though as the duration increases past 1st level, I guess it would become much less of an issue. It seems the minutes duration would be much more of an issue for more situational/less combat-specific tricks (assuming those are ever even a thing we'll see). Without the tricks he's just another caster, which frankly isn't interesting, so the chance for tricks to actually be useful and not just occasional lucky buffs seems the way to go.
I liked the hypnotic stare at first level at least. Having never played a witch I can't really comment much on how it stacks against hexes, but at first level it seemed appropriate, especially for a swift action. I worry a little about vanishing utility at later levels, especially since 12 seems little late for an increase (where I likely will never get a chance to see it), but bold stare options seem like a good place to make it balance without just making it iterative of other classes skills. Hopefully I'll get a chance to see.
Outside of combat was honestly the most fun since it made for a good wandering con-man, faith-healer, or Vegas show man type. At least the way I played it, he fell somewhere between a Ranger and a Bard, skewing toward the rogue spectrum, in a skill-monkey sense.